Air New Zealand has launched a Share & Earn scheme with digitalanimal, tied to the promotion of its 777-300 Premium Economy Spaceseat experience.

Those registered for the programme, which is being trialled in the UK, will receive £50 cash for every share that directly results in a Premium Economy booking for the airline up until 16 May 2012.

This coincides with a new advertising campaign from Albion, which includes an interactive panoramic scan of the cabin called SeatView – where customers can explore the space both horizontally and vertically, clicking on hot spots to reveal product service points.    

Air New Zealand GM for Europe Chris Myers, said that:

Since we introduced the new Premium Economy on the London route our customers have been sharing some great experiences with us. This is a great chance for them to now be rewarded for telling their friends and family about it.” 

This comes just a month after it was announced that Dell had launched its own Share & Earn scheme with digitalanimal – which was swiftly rebuked by the brand with a statement that read:

This announcement was distributed without our knowledge. It is based on a five-day affiliate test program that ran last week in the UK and has since been terminated. digitalanimal has been directed to remove all external communication immediately.”

Adobe’s director of European operations for its social media streatgy team Marc Blinder told at the time that he believes that the promotion would have left customers with a sour taste.

My concern is that this campaign lacks the subtlety you’d expect from good marketing. I think customers will feel uncomfortable doing something transparently selfish in front of their friends and I don’t think it’s a good association for the brand. If it becomes widely known, that Dell pays for shares, it could make some fans much less likely to share in order to preserve their personal reputation.”

To balance this though, we reported on Park Resorts’ use of the same model, again with digitalanimal, stating that the programme had delivered an average of five leads per one share. The brand seemed to be all too happy to use this affiliate model to reward customers. 

Another company called Shopa also claims to have created the first share & earn e-commerce platform that gives financial rewards to people who recommend products to their networks and friends.

While Blinder may well be right in saying that for Dell, this approach feels too brash for the super-social hardware brand. Perhaps it’s the use of the word ‘earn’, combined with the positioning of the programme and the cash-in-hand kickback that makes it feel a little dirty.

However, there seems to be others who consider it a worthwhile experiment.